Spotify, a private beta, next-generation, celestial jukebox has pushed out a new feature.  You can now link directly to a time offset within a song.  Just append the time offset to the url.  For example, here's a link directly to my favorite short organ solo: spotify:track:5ilQibGPcaQvy8jf7OQI5H#2:30

Direct linking to passages in music opens up all sorts of interesting opportunities:  Playlists with all of the best guitar solos (and just the solos, not all that extra vocal padding), mixtapes filled with just the bridges, a Valentine's day mix with nothing but "I Love You" lyric snippets - the possibilities are endless.  Couple this with social tagging, and we can have phrase-level access to our music.  Imagine going to or spotify and  playing  'face-melting organ solos' radio and be  treated to an  endless mix of Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman and  Jimmy Smith, without all of those guitars messing things up.

To make this happen though, Spotify will need to make a  change - we need to be able to specify not just when a phrase starts, but when it ends as well.  As it stands (as far as I can tell), I can specify the point to start playing a song, but not when it ends.  What we really need is a way to specify the start and the end of the phrase.  Something like this would do:  spotify:track:5ilQibGPcaQvy8jf7OQI5H#2:30#2:45   This would yield a phrase that would start two and a half minutes into the song and finish 15 seconds later.

I'm really impressed with all of the things Spotify is doing - especially how they are working to make all of their music - tracks, albums, artists, playlists and now phrases, reference-able via a URL.   I hope they open their doors to the general public soon.  (but not too soon).


Hello Paul!

You might also be interested in the following links -

HTTP1.1 can also do this (well, ok, in a sort-of hacky way :-) )

There is also an other approach to specify temporal fragments in HTTP URI, in a similar fashion as what spotify does:

But, of course, the right way to go is to use the music ontology to annotate temporal segments :-)
(then, you can do whatever you want with such event URIs - annotate them, write playlists involving specific events...)


Posted by Yves on February 14, 2008 at 01:53 PM EST #


Thanks for the pointer - I knew there was a standard (or two ;) for specifying temporal fragments, but I couldn't remember where.

The structural annotations at are incredibly neat. It certainly wouldn't take much software to mine those to build the face-melting organ solo playlist. Neat stuff!

Posted by Paul on February 14, 2008 at 01:59 PM EST #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.

This blog copyright 2010 by plamere